9th Bratislava International Film Festival
Slovakia, November 30 - December 8 2007
In the beautiful capital of the Slovak Republic, one of the main cultural events of the city takes place every December since 1999 (just six years after the country’s independence). Just a short stroll away from the old town and its charming Christmas market, crossing the river Danube, the very modern shopping center hosts a multiplex whose theaters suddenly show auteur films from around the world instead of the usual Hollywood mainstream production. Students, families, workers gather to make the event a real public success (with more than 20,000 spectators in a week).
Alongside the premieres of new Slovak films, the festival shows the best films presented in Berlin, Cannes and Venice to the local audience. As for the competition program, it focuses on first and second features, and included this year films prize-winners in “Un certain regard” (the wonderful California Dreamin’…) or the Cannes Critics’ Week (Jellyfish and XXY) as well as films fresh from the Venice sidebars, such as the subtle bittersweet Polish comedy Tricks (Sztuczki). It is this film, the second feature by Polish director Andrzej Jakimoski, which received the International Critics’ Prize. (Grégory Valens)